If you’re visiting Malta, you can be sure of more than just fantastic weather and friendly locals. Their culinary traditions are outstanding and though they may not be the most well known in the world, there is a range of exceptional dishes that you should try.
Much like the British pastries, the Pastizzi is a pastry wrapped, savoury treat that is loved by locals and tourists alike. Fillings can vary but the most popular include cheese or a mushy pea style recipe. The pastry itself can be light and crispy or a little thicker, depending on what’s inside.
2. Lampuki Dishes (Pies, Stews and more)
This fish isn’t well known in other parts of the world but is considered something of a delicacy in Malta. Sustainable and plentiful, unlike some other species, trying traditional Lampuki pie can be a great way to enjoy the taste of sea, guilt free.
Aljotta is one of the most popular soup style dishes that is made from Lampuki and has strong, distinctive and very comforting flavour.
3. Hobz Biz-Zejt
A classic starter or sharing dish, the simple combination of traditional maltese bread and fresh tomatoes is at the core of the recipe, but you can also add salt and pepper to taste, as well as other herbs and vegetables. Simple and easy to prepare, this is a quick and easy snack that’s great any time of the day. You can also add tuna to it and makes a great filling snack especially when you are on the run, and is very cheap as well.
4. Maltese Platters
Sharing food is one of the most celebrated traditions in Malta and the platter style dish is extremely popular. Typically containing a selection of meats, vegetables and sauces and breads, this type of food is ideal for parties, special occasions or just relaxing with friends. Meat stews, cheese, maltese sausage and bean style dishes such as bigilla are commonplace on platters like this.
5. Rabbit Stew
Also known as stuffat tal-fenak, the Maltese rabbit stew is one of the most popular dishes in the country’s traditional culinary repertoire. Generally made with onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes and of course, rabbit. This is a hearty, warming dish with lots of flavour that is simple to make but incredibly tasty.
A true treat for connoisseurs of carbohydrates, the humble timpani is a baked macaroni dish that is served in a pastry casing. Generally using bolognese style ingredients, though other combinations are available, this pasta pie creation is unique, filling and totally delicious.
7. Octopus Stew
A true Maltese classic that shows off the full flavour of the octopus. Sometimes known as stuffat tal-qarnit, this variation on the simple, traditional and rustic Maltese stew is made with red wine, olives capers, herbs, potatoes and other vegetables.
This sweet snack is a dessert favourite is a pastry stuffed with dates and then deep fried. Imqaret are best eaten hot and with accompanying ice cream on the side. Dates, aniseed, lemon and orange, flour and other ingredients are combined to make a tasty and unusual biscuit style dish.
9. Maltese drinks
The two most popular drinks in Malta are Kinnie and Cisk. Both are quite different from the majority of drinks you will find abroad, however, their distinctive flavour makes them extremely popular amongst both tourists and locals.
A beautifully warming soup that is made from a range of vegetables and often uses pasta to make it even more filling. Perfect for cool evenings and very healthy, this is a great choice for vegetarians as well. More suited for the winter season this soup can even be your main meal and not just a starter.